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[kat-uh-strof-ik] /ˌkæt əˈstrɒf ɪk/
of the nature of a catastrophe, or disastrous event; calamitous:
a catastrophic failure of the dam.
Sometimes, catastrophical, catastrophal [kuh-tas-truh-fuh l] /kəˈtæs trə fəl/ (Show IPA).
Related forms
catastrophically, adverb
noncatastrophic, adjective
noncatastrophically, adverb
supercatastrophic, adjective
uncatastrophic, adjective
uncatastrophically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for catastrophic
  • Moreover, auto insurance covers catastrophic loss, but not the day-to-day maintenance of the car.
  • If the rain is heavy, prolonged and falls over larger areas, the presence of trees will not prevent catastrophic floods.
  • One of the potentially catastrophic consequences of the region's fragile water balance is the effect on political tensions.
  • But climate change and exotic weeds may exacerbate the risk of catastrophic fires.
  • And larger birds can cause crippling and catastrophic damage.
  • Events, and catastrophic ones, may dictate our decisions.
  • Or your web hosting provider suffers a catastrophic data loss.
  • The region could be on the brink of another catastrophic war.
  • But these frozen reservoirs are melting rapidly, and the water they release could cause a catastrophic rise in sea levels.
  • Tigers and honeybees are two of the many species that are suffering catastrophic decline in our growing world.
Word Origin and History for catastrophic

1824, from catastrophe + -ic. Related: Catastrophical; catastrophically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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